Renal Protection by Genetic Deletion of the Atypical Chemokine Receptor ACKR2 in Diabetic OVE Mice

J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:5362506. doi: 10.1155/2016/5362506. Epub 2015 Dec 20.


In diabetic nephropathy (DN) proinflammatory chemokines and leukocyte infiltration correlate with tubulointerstitial injury and declining renal function. The atypical chemokine receptor ACKR2 is a chemokine scavenger receptor which binds and sequesters many inflammatory CC chemokines but does not transduce typical G-protein mediated signaling events. ACKR2 is known to regulate diverse inflammatory diseases but its role in DN has not been tested. In this study, we utilized ACKR2(-/-) mice to test whether ACKR2 elimination alters progression of diabetic kidney disease. Elimination of ACKR2 greatly reduced DN in OVE26 mice, an established DN model. Albuminuria was significantly lower at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. ACKR2 deletion did not affect diabetic blood glucose levels but significantly decreased parameters of renal inflammation including leukocyte infiltration and fibrosis. Activation of pathways that increase inflammatory gene expression was attenuated. Human biopsies stained with ACKR2 antibody revealed increased staining in diabetic kidney, especially in some tubule and interstitial cells. The results demonstrate a significant interaction between diabetes and ACKR2 protein in the kidney. Unexpectedly, ACKR2 deletion reduced renal inflammation in diabetes and the ultimate response was a high degree of protection from diabetic nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Albuminuria / genetics
  • Albuminuria / metabolism
  • Albuminuria / physiopathology
  • Albuminuria / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / metabolism
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrosis
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nephritis / genetics
  • Nephritis / metabolism
  • Nephritis / physiopathology
  • Nephritis / prevention & control*
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Chemokine / analysis
  • Receptors, Chemokine / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics


  • ACKR2 protein, human
  • Ackr2 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Chemokine